documentary tagged posts

Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD

Future-Shock-posterDirector: Paul Goodwin

Writer: Paul Goodwin

Cast: Pat Mills, John Wagner, Alan Grant, Kevin O’Neill, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, Leah Moore, David Bishop, Alex Garland, Karl Urban

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 100mins

Year: 2014

The lowdown: Long overdue account of Britain’s most punk comic, from its birth in the ashes of previous boys’ comics in 1977, the 1980s golden age, the rocky 90s and its rebirth in the noughties. Director Paul Goodwin presents the unvarnished truth recounted in colourful language and illustrated with gorgeous panels taken from hundreds of issues (or “progs” in 2000AD speak). Creator Pat Mills leads the charge, but the range of interviewees include Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Kevin O’Neill and recent Dredd movie writer and star Alex Garland and Karl Urban...

Read More

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Going-Clear---posterDirector: Alex Gibney

Writer: Alex Gibney, Lawrence Wright (book)

Cast: Paul Haggis, Sylvia “Spanky” Taylor, Jason Beghe, Marty Rathbun, Mike Rinder, Lawrence Wright (interviewees), L. Ron Hubbard, Tom Cruise, David Miscavige, John Travolta (archive footage)

Cert: 15

Running time: 119mins

Year: 2015


The lowdown: Incendiary account of the Church of Scientology’s fascinating and disturbing history from Alex Gibney, who previously wrestled with the Catholic Church in Mea Maxima Culpa. Tom Cruise and John Travolta, Scientology’s most famous members, are featured though predictably declined interviews. But, the talking heads, including Oscar winner Paul Haggis, suggest a dark centre in the superstar religion far from Travolta’s claim that “joy is the operative concept”...

Read More

15 Five Star Movies You May Have Forgotten

One of the nicer problems for the first world film fan is not only making time to watch all the movies now available, but also remembering them.

With all year round blockbusters dazzling the eyes it is easy to forget those movies that fired the brain cells and stimulated the imagination in the way the best cinema does.

So, in salute to those special movies that deserve the all five stars yet may have been clouded by a decade of sound and fury or simply slipped under the radar, here are 15 five star movies made since 2000 you may want to reacquaint yourself with.

In the Mood for Love (2000)
The plot: In Hong Kong, 1962 a man and woman living in the same apartment building discover their respective spouses are having an affair and begin a tentative relationship themselves.

Why 5 stars: Cin...

Read More

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

Electric Boogaloo - box artDirector: Mark Hartley

Writer: Mark Hartley

Cast: Menahem Golan, Yoram Globus, Bo Derek, Richard Chamberlain, Cassandra Peterson, Luigi Cozzi, Sybil Danning, Franco Neri

Cert: 15

Running time: 106mins

Year: 2014


The lowdown: If the names Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus evoke nostalgic memories guzzling down bad action movies, Electric Boogaloo is for you. If a warts n’ all look at the unbelievable ride of Hollywood’s last true hustlers gets you excited, Electric Boogaloo is for you. If you want the behind the scenes skinny on such great bad movies as Invasion USA, Breakin’, Enter the Ninja III: Domination, Over The Top and Superman IV, then Electric Boogaloo is for you. You’ll never look at Clyde the Orangutan the same way again…

Golan And GlobusElectric Boogaloo - Cannon Films logo

The full verdict: For some the Cannon logo is ...

Read More

Finding Vivian Maier

Finding Vivian Maier - posterDirectors: John Maloof, Charlie Siskel

Writers: John Maloof, Charlie Siskel

Cert: 12A

Running Time: 84mins

Year: 2014


The lowdown: Debut directors Charlie Siskel (producer of Bowling For Columbine, Religulous) and John Maloof offer up this tantalising tale of a private and austere nanny, now posthumously recognized as an acclaimed street photographer whose work is exhibited internationally. Their fascinating documentary is an excellent place to start searching for the truth surrounding the secretive shutterbug.

Finding Vivian Maier - nanny, childrenMJS Self-Portrait-1965.jpg

The full verdict: It’s almost inconceivable in these days of self-promotion and social media showboating that someone with obvious talent would conceal it from the world...

Read More

I Am Divine

I Am Divine - posterDirector: Jeffrey Schwarz

Writers: Cast: Divine, John Waters, Frances Milstead, Mink Stole, Holly Woodlawn

Cert: 15

Running time: 90mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Funny, engrossing and poignant documentary account of Harris Glen Milstead, who stormed the world as Divine – “the most beautiful woman in the world”. Most famous and infamous for eating dog-do on camera for Pink Flamingos, director Jeffrey Schwarz reveals Milstead as a true professional with a Herculean work-ethic, a shy personality whose alter-ego was an inspiration to outsiders everywhere. Trash glamour never looked so good.

I Am Divine - Divine glamour shotI Am Divine - Pink Flamingos, gun

The full verdict: The life path of anyone who describes eating dog excrement as “the best and worst thing that ever happened to me” will not follow a well-trodden trail.

And Divine, drag queen extraor...

Read More

The Armstrong Lie

The Armstrong Lie - quad posterDirector: Alex Gibney

Writer: Alex Gibney

Cert: 12

Running time: 122mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney turns farce into fascination with The Armstrong Lie. Originally a celebratory record of Lance Armstrong’s 2009 return to the Tour de France circuit, it was shelved when doping allegations reared once more and then utterly refocused when the disgraced cyclist admitted he had been illegally enhancing his performance all along. An Icarus like tale of hubris and corruption becomes a story for this “win at all costs” age, where the strong survive and how they became strong is ignored.

Lance Armstrong, Oprah WinfreyCourtesy of Alex Gibney

The full verdict: Alex Gibney likes focusing on big, problematic personalities. Enron CEO Jeff Skilling in Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room...

Read More


InRealLife Dogwoof Documentary Quad PosterDirector: Beebon Kidron

Cert: 15

Running time: 89mins

Year: 2013


The lowdown: Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and Bridget Jones sequel director Beebon Kidron turns her viewfinder toward the Internet’s effect on young people. But, the Web is a big place and Kidron’s attempt to squeeze everything into 89 minutes leaves this documentary rather less than 3G.  Plus, there is the grumbling sense the director has never used Facebook or Twitter or the other elements of the Web of which she seems very suspicious.

InRealLife Dogwoof Documentary - girl, computerInRealLife Dogwoof Documentary - Tom, online boyfriend

The full verdict: Internet porn’s affect on young men and women’s attitude toward sex. The youth of today’s obsession with social media enabled gadgets. Teen dating in a virtual age. Gaming addiction. Web celebs. Cyber-bullying.

InRealLife could not be accused of lacking ambi...

Read More

The Great Hip Hop Hoax

The Great Hip Hop Hoax posterDirector: Jeanie Finlay

Cast: Billy Boyd, Gavin Bain

Cert: 18

Running time: 88mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: In 2004 Californian hip-hop homeboys Silibil n’ Brains were destined for stardom. They were the real deal. The genuine article. They were also two students from Dundee who had no idea how far they’d have to go to hide their true identities.

The Great Hip Hop Hoax - Boyd, Bain, lagerThe Great Hip Hop Hoax - Boyd, Bain, car

The verdict: Labelled “the rapping Proclaimers” at a disastrous A&R audition, Scottish rap fans Billy Boyd and Gavin Bain re-invented themselves as West-Coast wild boys Silibil n’ Brains.

Their commitment to the lie would shame most method actors and at a time when social media was still in its infancy, they used their MTV inspired accents and jackass-style antics to fool industry execs into thinking they’d struck gold.

Through eff...

Read More


Blackfish - quad posterDirector: Gabriela Cowperthwaite

Cert: 12 (TBC)

Running time: 84 mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: A shocking expose of greed, barbarity and callousness in the multi-billion marine life theme park industry, Blackfish is candidate for 2013’s best documentary.  Following the blood trail left by the 2010 killing of a trainer by the largest orca in captivity, Cowperthwaite’s movie is an unforgettable experience and, with shocking caught on camera footage, a disturbing insight into the world behind Shamu.

Blackfish - whale mouthBlackfish - dive

The full verdict: With the investigative zeal of Errol Morris, Gabriela Cowperthwaite knows when something smells fishy.

And Sea World’s explanation that the tragic 2010 death of Dawn Brancheau was “trainer error” became suspect when eyewitnesses at the public show claimed Tilikum, the par...

Read More